Equine boots- Necessary or fashionable

newboult51

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When I was a kid it was rare to see boots on horses and certainly never on ponies, but it seems now that everyone uses them and you're a bad horse owner if you do so much as a quiet flatwork session without them. Personally I just use them for xc only for 2 reasons; firstly there are so many types and brands on the market and as many opinions that I haven't a clue which to use when and secondly; I've never been convinced that they are necessary. This is particularly when showjumping, when I prefer my horse to feel when they have knocked a pole, and don't want them to feel restricted.

Anyway, I didn't really think more of it than until I saw a lecture by an orthopaedic vet and an equine exercise physiology expert recently who have done some research and this is what they found -

-Most riders are in confusion of which boots to use for which activity

-There is a wide variation in the level of protection provided by boots that are described as performing the same function

- There is minimal evidence to suggest that any boots provide support for soft tissues or bone structure

-Some boots can reduce the flexibility of the limb, which creates a risk of load bearing from one structure to another

-Boots can restrict joints, and movement and therefore performance

-They add weight and so gait and performance are effected

-Wearing boots increases the temperature of tendons during exercise and there is evidence that this can lead to tendon damage.

- they tested a large sample of boots on the market and found many did not offer protection against concussion.

Thought this was food for thought !
 

The Bouncing Bog Trotter

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Tend not to use them as a rule but I do ride hardy native types and cobs. Maybe when my warmblood gets broken I'll consider them on her, if I feel she needs them. However, was told off at Pony Club for not putting boots on my connie for a jumping rally. Was told in no uncertain terms that next time he must be wearing boots.
 

kellyeaton

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well i would like to hope they protect what they say but it is probally a money making thing like every thing else. I KNOW A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WILL PUT SO MANY UNESSARY GADGETS JUST BECAUSE THEY THING IT MAKES THERE HORSE LOOK BETTER!
 

golddustsara

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Very interesting post... I have to say I only use boots for jumping (mostly only on the front legs). Occasionally when doing tough schooling or having a dressage lesson I put stretch and flex wraps on but I'm certainly not the type to boot up at every opportunity or certainly not for hacking.

Obviously my opinion is just for my overgrown native horse - I'm well aware people with accident prone TB's (yes you DraytonsBarney to name but one) have to boot up to avoid accidents but I do think boots have become a fashion statement rather like the grackle and those god awful ear things that pc sj'ers seem to favour!

P's boots are just standard brushing boots and I have to say there is such a variety on the market that I feel a little confused about which boot is best for SJ/XC for example.
 

BobbyMondeo

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I use brushing boots on one of mine because he moves really close and can cut up his legs quite badly.

I always use tendon boots for jumping after a horse i knew severed a tendon and never came right
 

only_me

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Brushing boots for schooling

Tendon boots for jumping at shows etc.

Xc boots for xc
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Tbh, I don't care if you all think I'm a bad horse owner because I like to protect my horses legs.
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Boots are there to protect and help prevent injuries - I would rather that then having to put boots on because of an injury.

That study was also done by equilbrium company. I wonder how there boots fared...?
 

RachelB

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I use boots as a preventative - I have been through the long haul of a tendon injury and I could not bear to do it again for anything. With my mare, she doesn't brush badly but one wrong step could literally be the end of her life if she manages to damage her tendon again. She wears Prolite boots in front, Woof Club boots behind and knee boots if anyone else rides her or if I go out on uneven ground. She does now trip, which she never used to do before her injury.
Yes, probably over-protective, but I'm sure those who have been through long-term injuries with their horses can understand.
If I ever manage to buy a new horse and get it jumping, I would always jump with boots with a tendon guard.
 

newboult51

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[ QUOTE ]

Tbh, I don't care if you all think I'm a bad horse owner because I like to protect my horses legs.
/quote]

Not saying anyone's a bad horse owner
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Just interested what people think, that's all
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blackcob

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I don't use any boots at all - pony is a leg-at-each-corner chunky thing who's never had any kind of leg injury so I don't see the need. I would worry more about them slipping or becoming undone and causing more of a problem than not having them on at all to be honest!

I do use bandages or travel boots for travelling, that's it.
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RubysGold

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Roo wears front brushing boots nearly everytime I ride. She has huge windgalls, I don't actually know if the boots will do much, but I like to think they will protect them a bit.
Roo sometimes wears alround boots for jumping.
She always wears all round boots for hacking because she fell on the style things once and went lame. So it just gives me peace of mind.
(I hope you don't all think I'm trying to wrap her in cotton wool, or that I'm doing it for fashion)
Nickie
 

LadyRascasse

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my mare wheres brushing boots and over reach boots on 3 legs for hacking, strench and flex wraps for flat schooling and tendon boots and 3 over reach boots for jumping. otherwise her legs are in streads. my gelding on the other had doesn't wear boots for anything.
 

algy666

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My gelding wears Roma neoprene sport boots on the front when he's being ridden or lunged - to give a bit of support to the ligament he sprained last year, as I'm NOT going through that again! He also wears overreach boots in the field to stop him catching his front shoes when he careers about like a mad thing.
 

Coffee_Bean

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I use brushing boots for flatwork and hacking- because she brushes. Duh
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I use tendon boots on the front for jumping, would rather not have my horse sever a tendon. And I use fetlock boots on the back as she brushes behind.

However if I chunky coblet that never brushed, I wouldn't use anything. (other than tendon boots when jumping.)
 

ottodyl1

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I think it depends on the horse and activity. I tend not to use boots on my ex-eventer except for jumping as he has no problem with brushing, has sensitive skin so is prone to rubs & I figure if he doesn't know where his legs are by now he never will. I trained a bit years ago with Janet Sturrock who was FBHS & didn't boot her horses - she always said she would rather the horse could feel where it's legs were than get them tangled & end on the floor!
I do, however, use boots on my mare who is more prone to knocking herself, especially when throwing her toys out the pram!
I would always boot up well for xc, as obviously your horse is much more liable to knock himself.
I think booting/bandaging to protect from knocking is sensible. I seem to remember reading about some research (might have been in H&H) that some boots can however cause overheating of the tendons/ligaments, leaving them more prone to injury. Also, apparently bandaging for support was not thought to be worthwhile as the tendons obviously run longitudinally so all bandaging does is compress them. From a human perspective, supports, while useful as a temporary measure following injury, also tend to prevent the full use of muscles/tendons & prevent them from strengthening sufficiently.
 

gails

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When Dexter was ridden, he wore over reach and brushing boots, for the obivoius reason that he is a clumsey TB
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However I do in part agree that they are more common, perhaps not not for reasons of fashion, but like every other walk of life at the minute, that you are persuaded that the world will implode if you do not
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Ziggy_

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I always, always, use boots.

Brushing boots all round for lungeing, schooling, and roadwork, tendon and fetlock boots for jumping and galloping. And over reach boots all the time.

When I first bought my horse she was very unbalanced and in the course of running off with me would overreach, brush and basically cut her legs to ribbons so boots were a necessity. She took chunks out of the boots at first too. Over the last two years she has become much more sensible and rarely knocks herself but I continue to use boots all round anyway.

I do agree that for some people boots are a fashion statement - like most of the people at my yard that do all sorts at home with no boots on, then boot their horse right up for shows
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Jane_Lou

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B wears brushing boots in front for flatwork and hacking as he has twice in the past knocked himself when having a "moment" and thrown splints as a result. I never jump or do pole work without tendon boots having seen the results of a tendon strike by a hind foot (serious DDFT tear). XC he wears boots with canon and tendon protection on front and canon protection behind. J wears brushing boots all round for hacking and flatwork just because he can be a bit of a stupid idiot!
 

lauraandjack

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I am not a big user of boots, but then again I have a section D who has built in brushing boots provided by mother nature! I do put boots on him for lungeing though. I don't jump in them as the one time I used them he was a lot more careless with his front legs!

We're using front boots on a freshly backed youngster though, as he has front shoes on for the first time and as we're hoping he'll be a show horse we're trying to avoid lumps and bumps if possible.

There are plenty of horses out there who do need boots for protection. However I'm sure there are also plenty of horses who wear them purely as a fashion item for the owner!
 

mystiandsunny

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I don't use boots at all, and only use leg protection (exercise bandages) for xc. None of our horses brush or over-reach though, and the two that jump aren't shod, nor do they jump high. Likewise I bandage for travelling. The fit is better and they seem happier. What did your expert say about bandages?
 

Slinkyunicorn

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Chunky coblet - natures own boots!! Not sure I would ever find any to fit over the hair!!!
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Wussy wb - nothing when out hacking but has some sports boots from Premier Equine for extra support when schooling and over reach as well for when he jumps as he does clonk himself as he gets over excited.....
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Ranyhyn

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My horse, a mw ISH has quite a lot of bone and I generally dont boot him.

I will however boot him for SJ above 3ft and XC. I think the pros outweigh the cons and I am yet to see a horse who has suffered from wearing boots.
 

Scribbles

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I don't use boots anymore, after noticing how hot neddies legs were getting with them on.

I've worn tendon supports (for humans!) before, and they really do damage your tendons. When you take them off, your limb hurts sooo much, you can't pick anything up, and my physio said the longer you wear them, the greater the risk of it never healing fully, and so they should only be worn if needs must at very strenuous activity, and to try build up strength without them on.

As far as I'm concerned, the more 'supported' a horses legs are, the weaker they become, and the higher the risk of damage. 'support' doesn't allow a horses legs to strengthen, aswell as unnecessary heating.

However, for hunting and significant XC (not minimus or pre-novice height) then I concede protection is important.
 

Ritchie123

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i dont really use boots only if im doing jumping really on my welsh x arab, he has arabs legs and he sometimes gets a bit careless so rather be safe than sorry
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maddyb

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nessasery for connor
he is 5 and bless him very accident prone dishes out on both front legs and sometimes get all confuesed and does not know what to do with his legs.
i dont wear the for genral schooling or unstrenious hacks but toehr wise he HAS to wear them all the tiome while he is still getting to grips with the four things called leggs that can move in diffren directions and i jure him all the time
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sorry am in such a random mood
 
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I used to use boots for quite a lot of things but now I just use xc boots and travel boots. sometimes tendon boots depending on the day and what we will be jumping. Like a lot of people have been saying, I would rather my horse not sever a tendon.
I think that I used to use them more as I had a young horse and as maddyb said, he was constantly getting his feet all mixed up but now my little baby is all grown-up and doesn’t need as much protection anymore.
I think boots are great in principle but should be used when they are actually needed and not just as decoration
 

paddi22

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When I was a kid it was rare to see boots on horses and certainly never on ponies, but it seems now that everyone uses them and you're a bad horse owner if you do so much as a quiet flatwork session without them. Personally I just use them for xc only for 2 reasons; firstly there are so many types and brands on the market and as many opinions that I haven't a clue which to use when and secondly; I've never been convinced that they are necessary. This is particularly when showjumping, when I prefer my horse to feel when they have knocked a pole, and don't want them to feel restricted.

yeah the market for them if crazy! as regards showjumping though I wouldn't jump courses without them as I've seen some awful injuries from the back legs catching the front tendons and cutting them. I see your point about the horses feeling the poles, but with open fronted tendon boots they do. there's so many good forums like this for researching brands and styles now which is great.
 

conniegirl

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my lad wears sports medicine boots behind after sustaining injuries to his hind suspensories. This is on the advice of my very well respected vet. The hope is to wean him off them but they will always be used when he is first coming back into work.

I don't jump high (max about 40cm's) or fast and generally not multiple jumps so don't think my fat little native pony needs anything on his fronts at all.
 
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